The pacemaker installation for Hubby started the misbeats, of course. When Hubby did not bounce right up from the surgery but required extra days at Research Hospital, when he came home and laid in bed for two weeks feeling downright awful, the reduced drum beats of my life destroyed the ritual power of my internal music.
Then came the virus that hit Hubby for the third time in six months. Following that, two feet plus (over 25 inches) of snow kept all of us housebound for days on end. Once snowfall was a thing to bring joy, to venture into with a sense of excitement and wonder, to celebrate days with school and work cancelled. Now, old and enfeebled, we could not dig ourselves out, we could not drive the heavy car that sat in front of the garage and venture forth to see the pristine beauty of the snow laid sugar coating like on the lovely trees of our city, and the cold kept us shivering in our nightshirts and bedroom slippers even throughout the daylight hours. Now the snow imprisoned us instead of freeing us.
We had to quit exercising. We made a quart of milk last a week instead of venturing out to the store. We stocked our freezer with frozen bread so we could make stale sandwiches for dinner. We begged doggies to "please, please, please poop outside" even though when we went through the front door to try and walk them, I slipped repeatedly on the ice and fell often into the snow right in front of the house. Twice Luie, the little blind guy who never goes outside unleashed, escaped from my frozen hands as I tried to either stay upright or crawl my way to a spot where my feet would find purchase.
Musicians and mystics understand the power of rhythms on your life. Ritual drumming and rhythmic prayer are found in cultures throughout the world and are used in religious ceremonies to induce trance states.
Scientists now posit that rhythmic music may change brain function and treat a range of neurological conditions, including attention deficit disorder and depression. Doctors are working with rhythmic therapy to improve cognitive functioning in elderly people.
I've been exhibiting classic symptoms of depression. Sleeping has become an exercise in futility. I only want to eat things that push me further into a "coma" state. Chips and cookies call my name. I can ignore oranges, bananas, carrots, and any form of protein. Afternoon naps can carry me through the high points of the day, however 4 a.m. kitchen raids for ice cream occur regularly. I often don't bother to get dressed. Or comb my hair. Or brush my teeth. Or wash my face. I've given up any semblance of healthy cooking. I've actually fed Hubby (with the heart condition) boxed macaroni and cheese for dinner - and he loved it. Which says his rhythms are pretty much kaput, also. My lips have chapped to the point where I can peel layers of skin from them, the salt from the chips burn like fire, and the cold cream in the house has so many additives that it hurts worse than the chips -- so I just let them peel and bleed and now the entire area around my mouth has turn red, swollen, raw, and sometimes, even bloody. And I don't much care.
The good news is that just these last couple of days things are showing an upturn. I managed to meet friends for dinner on Sunday evening and basking in the glow of their friendship went quite a ways to lifting the clouds I was letting darken my life. Then Tuesday Hubby had a very good day. He worked on our tax situation, he took me to lunch, he walked the dogs, and he went to the doctors to get a script to help him finally fight the continuing virus. Wednesday, of course, he was unable to get out of bed at all. However, I felt up to walking the dogs for nearly a mile (without falling down) and met four friends for a 2.5 hour lunch at a wonderful Chinese restaurant in Westport. Then yesterday Hubby got back out of bed and met with his physical trainer in the morning and in the evening we both managed 45 minutes of intense water aerobics at our fitness center.
The rhythms of my life are slowing returning to normal. I'm finding a steadying beat that's helping me establish the flow of a new paradigm, to manage the changing seasons of my life and adjust to the expectations that come with a slowing of that pace and cadence. I'm managing to wake up and think, "Hum. I feel pretty good. Today the sun is shining and the snow is melting and the temperatures will be in the 50's. I can walk those dogs. I will make the tuna fish that Hubby loves as the staple of his diet. We will have enough money to pay the taxes and meet the medical bills." I may not yet have the ambition to get dress and brush my teeth but I did run a comb through my hair this morning. Hubby did go out and meet for the fourth time with the tax consultant and we are almost to the point where four years of taxes will be finally and completely put to rest. I only hope that changing over to daylight savings time on Sunday doesn't throw a spanner in the works.